September 15th 2021 was the deadline for all healthcare professionals and many other workers in France to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19. The list of those subject to mandatory vaccination includes non-medical staff in hospitals, gendarmes, firefighters, ambulance staff and home carers. Those who fail to comply by the deadline will face being suspended without pay. As today's deadline loomed, hospitals were trying to persuade the last remaining reluctant staff members to get their vaccinations. Many in the medical profession, while fully supporting vaccination, see the obligatory nature of the injections as a major policy failure. Caroline Coq-Chodorge spoke to some involved in this last-minute race for vaccination.
The former French health minister Agnès Buzyn was placed under formal investigation on Friday September 10th for “putting the lives of others in danger” during the Covid-19 pandemic. Prosecutors also named her as an “assisted witness” - a half-way status between that of a witness and a potential suspect - in relation to allegations of “failing to fight a disaster”. The investigation into Buzyn, who stepped down as health minister in mid-February 2020 as the epidemic was gaining speed in the country, came after numerous legal complaints lodged by private individuals and groups. The news, which will once again shine a spotlight on the French government's initial handling of the epidemic, comes just months before President Emmanuel Macron is set to seek re-election in the 2022 presidential election. Sarah Brethes, Caroline Coq-Chodorge and Antton Rouget report.
Agnès Buzyn faces investigation over claims of "endangering the lives of others" said prosecutors, but not for a second possible offence of "failure to stop a disaster".
The fast-track scheme announced by minister Marlène Schiappa is aimed at those whose jobs put them at risk in the pandemic.
The local parliament in France's South Pacific territory of New Caledonia has voted in favour of compulsory Covid-19 vaccinations of all its adult population and visitors to the archipelago over fears of the spread of the Delta variant of the coronavirus that is sweeping French Polynesia.
French economy and finance minister Bruno Le Maire has announced an end to across-the-board financial support to businesses to help them survive the downturn caused by the coronavirus pandemic and resulting restrictions, detailing that future aid will only be made available on a case-by-case basis.
Staff at the hospital in Taaone, Papeete, the capital of French Polynesia, have been forced to install two dozen beds in the entry hall to the establishment.
Didier Raoult, who promoted hydroxychloroquine treatment, may not be able to continue his research as he has reached retirement age.
Sixty Covid-19 deaths have been recorded in hospitals in Guadeloupe since August 9 out of a total of 357 since the beginning of the pandemic and incidence rate has shot up to 1,912 cases per 100,000 population.
From Monday August 9th the French government made it obligatory to have a health pass for anyone wanting to enter a range of establishments or access services, from cafés to restaurants, cinemas to libraries and high-speed trains to hospitals. This meant thousands of people have been trying to get a QR code to prove they have been vaccinated twice, had a recent negative Covid test or that they had recovered from the illness in the last six months and thus had antibodies. For some, this has meant a long and frustrating time dealing with the complexities of a new layer of French bureaucracy. Khedidja Zerouali has been talking to people who have struggled to navigate their way around this brave new world of health rules.
Demonstrators rallied through the streets of Paris, Marseille, Nice, Montpellier and other towns waving placards reading “Pass=Apartheid” and chanting “Freedom, freedom”.
Health minister Olivier Véran has written to health workers saying he will not accept any violence, intimidation, attack on them.
President Macron called the situation is 'dramatic' as he opened a virtual meeting with his senior cabinet ministers to discuss the epidemic.
The scale of protests across France this summer against the policies being deployed to tackle the Covid-19 pandemic is the price being paid by the head of state for his authoritarian, lying and irresponsible presidency, says Mediapart’s publishing editor Edwy Plenel in this op-ed article. Never, he argues, has the issue of democracy been so relevant - and so urgent.